Are Office Workers Covered Under Florida Workers’ Comp Laws?
Most people think of workplace accidents as something that only happens to construction workers or factory employees, assuming that individuals in office or administrative positions could not possibly be injured while sitting behind a desk. They tend to overlook the risks that these employees face in the work environment, but Florida workers’ compensation laws do not. Office workers are included in the definition of employee for purposes of qualifying for benefits, whether they suffer from on-the-job injuries or an occupational disease.
However, ailments linked to administrative jobs are extremely unreported – possibly because injured victims make the same assumptions and think the laws do not apply to them. This is a mistake that can impact your financial situation now, as well as your future with respect to medical care. It is important to discuss your options with an Ocala workers’ compensation attorney, but you might find some background information to be useful.
Medical Conditions That Impact Office Employees: They may not be as common as the health issues in other industries that carry higher risk of harm to workers. However, administrative employees can suffer from injuries in work-related accidents, and they may develop ailments directly related to the work environment. Even a minor medical condition that requires minimal treatment may qualify you to obtain workers’ comp benefits for your treatment and wage replacement. For more serious health issues, you may qualify for disability payments on a temporary or permanent basis.
Some of the most common injuries and illnesses stemming from the office work setting include:
- Repetitive stress injuries, which often affect typists and those doing clerical work;
- Back trauma, particularly for employees who were not trained in proper techniques for heavy lifting;
- Slip and falls created by hazardous work conditions, which office-based employers tend to let slide because they do not expect a visit from OSHA;
- Respiratory conditions from stagnant or poor indoor air quality; and
- Many others.
Challenges with the Workers’ Comp Claims Process: The reputation of office employees as enjoying a safe workplace has nothing to do with workers’ comp eligibility. Rather, you must meet the same criteria as workers in any other industry. One of the most important requirements is notifying your employer within 30 days after an injury-causing accident or diagnosis of an occupational illness.
Still, insurance companies often deny the claims of administrative workers by alleging that:
- Your medical condition is not a result of the work environment or job-related tasks;
- Your injuries are not serious enough to warrant treatment; or
- You are an independent contractor, not a covered employee.
Discuss Your Legal Options with an Ocala, FL Workers’ Comp Lawyer
Now that you know office employees have just as much right to workers’ comp benefits, you can see how retaining legal representation is crucial. At the Musleh Law Firm, our team is ready to advocate on your behalf, so please contact our Ocala, FL office at 352-732-0600 or via our website. We can set up a free case evaluation to review your circumstances and advise you on your options.